Gary Acevedo – Founder of Rise Leadership Group

Since 1971 Gary’s expertise has been focused on the design and facilitating of personal effectiveness and empowerment seminars and retreats for a diverse spectrum of organizations and social service agencies.  These include the World Futures Conference on Education, the 10 state Regional Conference for the Division of Rehabilitation, and being chosen by the Utah Governors Commission to design the state wide Victims Rights Conference.

He has been a trainer for Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” course and Career Track’s “Self-Discipline and Emotional Control.”  In 1979, Gary created the unique family oriented personal empowerment retreat known as “The Awakening.”  Grads who have seen it all say is the pinnacle of healing and empowerment.

He immersed himself in a myriad of cutting edge empowerment technologies and being recognized as a world-class trainer of trainers, he founded Rise Leadership Group; one of the most advanced training programs in the country for facilitators, coaches, speakers and healers.  He is the author of the soon to be published “Focus is Leverage: 7 States to Ignite Your Passion, Power and Profits.”

Consulting client successes have included AT&T, Mass Mutual, Xerox, Einstein Bagels, a peak performance coach for Olympic Athletes of the 1992 and 2000 games, designing training for Franklin Covey and VitalSmarts (Authors of bestsellers “Crucial Conversations,” “Influencer” and recently “Change Anything” and were invited to advise Gorbachev before the fall.  These clients of Gary’s are responsible for bringing over 12 million people out of poverty through micro-funding).


A Success Story:

Over the years we’ve had the privilege to witness innumerable personal breakthroughs and miracles of healing.  We’ve watched people turn their lives around and create enormous success.  We want to share one of our favorite success stories with you.

Ron McMillan, Bill Marre and Stephen R. Covey built the Covey Leadership Center (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) into the success it is today.  Until he formed his own company, Ron was always their best and most requested trainer.  Fortune 500 corporations paid top dollar for his services.  When he attended Gary’s training he aggressively sought and applied his coaching.  The week after, he was to do a demonstration to sell Covey’s largest potential client; AT&T.  Midway through the 3rd day the man in charge of 40,000 people stood up and said, “Ron, I know you are a good guy, and you mean well, but I just don’t think this program is going to fit for our people so as far as I’m concerned rather than waste any more time, I think we should call it a day.”

Ron called Gary that night to tell Gary of his dilemma.  He knew that he’d lost the contract.  He also was aware of the two options at hand, to do what he had always done, or to use the new coaching Gary had given him.  He realized he had nothing to lose and went for broke.  He said something truly powerful, melted the executive, and the man was so affected he made a total turn around.  He encouraged everyone to get behind the program, and Ron won the 6.5 million dollar contract.  Needless to say he was pleased with Gary’s training and coaching.  He was later asked to advise Gorbachev before the fall.  Here is what he and a few others have said of Gary and his work:


“In 14 years of consulting, having worked with hundreds of organizational development professionals, Gary is without qualification the best facilitator I’ve ever encountered . . . the single most profound developmental experience of my professional career.   I experienced a significant paradigm shift . . . A change from ‘should do’ motivation to ‘want to’ motivation . . . greatly enhances the likelihood of action plans being carried out and sustained over time. Gary brings a revolutionary method to the learning of principles.  This program will significantly contribute to your professional development . . . [It was] a deeply moving experience . . . I immediately began to recognize tremendous implication for leadership development.”

Ron McMillan, VitalSmarts Co-Founder, Co Author “Crucial Conversations” and “Influencer”


“Few people have had such an impact that it has affected me virtually everyday of my life. Gary’s retreat influenced our ability to create a project to bring 3.5 million people out of poverty through Micro-Funding.  I can now envision the end of poverty on this planet.”

Joseph Grenny, Partner VitalSmarts and Co-Author “Crucial Conversations” and “Influencer”


“I’ve been a marketing professional for over fifteen years.  I didn’t have any interest in more sales training or what Gary calls “Inner Work.”…I found myself more stressed…less time to enjoy…family time diminished, I finally enrolled and WOW has it changed my life!  Gary’s work takes the message from a concept to an actual experience.…truly life changing.  Since Gary’s work, my income has consistently increased,…several months over $50 K!!!! …I’m looking forward to my first six figure month!!!  If you are considering Gary’s work, STOP thinking about it and JUST DO IT!”

Harvey Docksteder, Entreprenuer , Co-Founder “Elite Activity”


“…one hour with Gary I gained a physical anchor and learned how to recreate my peak performance.… I was able to get in the zone… like only once before in my life…one of my top racing performances at the 2002 Paralympics.  Gary is truly amazing!

Muffy Davis, 4 Time Paralympic Medalist

“… I’ve been in sales for many years.  I consider myself to be near the top of my game in my industry…a few sessions with you…The techniques, insights, and polishing my script…realized a 60% increase in sales.  I can’t thank you enough…” Corbin Wells, Mortgage Banker


“For 15 years I’ve felt that most trainings were lecture intensive, but could only experiment for what else to use.  When it worked I didn’t know why!  From Gary, not only do I have training tools from the cutting edge, I know the structure behind the magic I can create.  My clients want you back for more!” Tilly O’Neal, Senior Training Consultant, AT&T Corporate Education and Training


“I was astounded at the impact you had in a few days … I witnessed an unprecedented shift in culture that ignited support and the kind of acknowledgement I have not seen in my entire career!  Wow!” Jay Ward, V.P. So. Cal. Sales, XEROX


“… out of my participation in several courses I rose to be top salesperson out of 300 with my direct sales group called Signtronics because of the many skills I learned in your workshops …I’m a top manager and considered to be the best public speaker and trainer in my company because of the many skills I learned in your workshops.  I even gained an extraordinary relationship.  Thank you Gary.”

Al Borgess, Sales Supervisor, SIGNTRONICS


“ . . . outstanding.  It was amazing how much material you shared in such a short amount of time.  I came away with some valuable tools, which made an immediate impact in my training.  My evaluation scores have already reflected the difference . . . Every speaker and/or trainer should hear your material.” Art Berg, President, UTAH SPEAKERS ASSOCATION


“The greatest experiential learning seminar I have attended!” Gerry Link, Director of Field Management, MASS MUTUAL


“…has improved our organization immensely.  He provided insight on how to improve our relations with specific customers…our group…we started the day as a group of individuals and ended as a team.  I would not hesitate to recommend Gary’s training…”

Mike Mettenet, V.P. Marketing, HEXCEL CORP. (Formerly HERCULES)


“Gary is one in a million.  In one training session he will give you no less than 100 crucial facilitation skills that will have your audience inviting you back time and time again.” Larry Myler, VITALITY ALLIANCE Institute President


“Gary has put together a dramatic combination of modern day technology for personal empowerment, leadership development, and organizational fulfillment. I strongly commend his program to any organization seeking greater productivity and personal satisfaction.”

Greg Bemis, Chairman, THE OCEAN CORP., Houston


“I have tremendous respect for Gary and his work.  Gary Acevedo is an extraordinary facilitator and teacher.  Just watching him facilitate a group is a deep learning opportunity. Any workshop leader, serious about improving their skills, would be wise to be his student.  His insight and understanding can have deep impact towards personal change. Gary teaches material that can enhance a company’s efforts towards personal and interpersonal effectiveness. “

Dick Roth, Former Supervisor, COVEY LEADERSHIP CENTER, Olympic Gold Medallist


Gary delivered a down to earth, practical training workshop giving us all kinds of good processes to implement . . .. we had fun, built a good sense of team spirit and came away feeling enriched as people.  Great Job!

Claudia Rosenberg, Second V.P. Field Training and Development, MASS MUTUAL


“Gary Acevedo’s Train the Trainer course as by far the best experiential training I have attended yet.  Gary’s depth of knowledge is fantastic!  Excellent course!  I would recommend it to anyone!” Jane Herron, Consultant and Author, International Public Speaker


“The skills I learned have made big changes in the way I perceive and interact with family members, fellow staff members, and, probably most importantly, patients . . .. It was fun, and a little unsettling, to learn that I had the power to determine the quality of my conversations and relationships. The workshop atmosphere is safe and non-confrontational, with no requirement to participate. Once I got past my original skepticism, however, I found the workshops were too much fun not to participate.” Raphiel Benjamin, M.D.  Radiology Dept., ST. VINCENTS HOSPITAL


“This work gives us the ongoing technology on training ourselves to see what we want and then to have it.”

Eileen Joyce, President, THE MEDIA TEAM


“What I value most is that it has resulted in a permanent change. I have learned at physiological and psychological level new skills that make me happy and more effective, both professionally and personally.  And the process of learning was painless and fun!”

Marcia Bilbao, M. D. Former Chief of Radiology, V.A. HOSPITAL


Carol Kostic – Brief Bio

“My mission is to create and implement a ‘sandbox’ where people can be safe and inspired to acknowledge who they are, find out what they are here to do, and overcome the barriers to doing it,”” says Carol. “”That is why I have come on board to support Enrollment, in the largest sense … enrolling people in their own lives and dreams.””

Carol was introduced to “inner work” a decade ago, and since has followed a path which brought her to Salt Lake City from Florida in 2009. Her professional background includes 10 years of communications training in Quebec and France, a highly successful career in international trade, and a focus on real estate investment and property management in Florida. She feels she is well served by an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, and a graduate degree in Education from the Univ. de Paris, but finds life to be the best teacher.